Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Book of Ruth: Finding #Love The Biblical Way {Why Ruth?}

Previous Post :”Why Love”
I am a romantic at heart. No, I am not a romance novelist. However, every book that I have written has a romantic element. I am a fan of love. I love seeing happy couples together and cringe when I see unhappy couples tolerating one another—I see that a lot. When I read the book of Ruth, I was fascinated. They actually dated in biblical times. Who knew? Seriously, I read it and I want to share what I learned. I don’t know how long this series will last, but I will keep going until it is done.

Why not Song of Solomon? That book has a lot going on in it. A lot of physical things going on. Hey, I like the physical things just as much as anyone. But Ruth as a character is someone that women can relate to. Maybe even men. But as a man, I can relate to Boaz. And I think that there are a lot of Ruth and Boaz types out there searching for one another.

Actually, the story of Ruth centers around two women, Ruth and Naomi, who despite getting knocked down manages to get up and reach for God’s blessings. During the time of the Book of Ruth, a great famine hit Bethlehem. Naomi, who is married to Elimelech, follows her husband to the land of Moab. They were a family of four with sons, Mahlon and Chilion. Unfortunately, Elimelech dies. However, their sons marry Moabite women. Mahlon marries Ruth and Chilion marries Orpah. Ruth and Orpah’s husbands later die and Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem.

Orpah and Ruth can’t bear to see their mother-in-law make the trek alone and decides to follow her to Bethlehem. After the long trip, Naomi urges her daughter-in-laws to return home, but they love her and protest. Naomi out of love for them urges them to go back to Moab where they could return to their families and remarry. Orpah hears the wisdom of her words and reluctantly returns.

 Ruth, who is just as stubborn as Naomi, refuses to leave her and stays with Naomi. It was Ruth’s words of love that convinced Naomi to allow her stay. She told Naomi in Ruth 1:16-17 that, “wherever you go. I will go. And wherever you stay, I will stay; your people shall be my people and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.”

Such passion.                

Ruth loved will all her heart. Any man that found her would be a fortunate man indeed. However, she found herself single and she made a decision that seemed almost irrational. In that period of history; to put yourself in a position to be man less was a death sentence for women.

Orpah made the choice that increased her chance of finding a Moabite man who could take care of her. Orpah’s decision was not wrong. It was an intelligent decision of self-preservation. Orpah was following her head. Ruth was following her heart.

What did Ruth get?

Ruth got a good husband and joined the lineage of Jesus Christ. She honored God and in turn, she gained honor. 

What did Orpah get?

Well, we don’t know much about Orpah. But OPRAH, a prolific actress and media mogul, was ALMOST named after her.

In all honesty, Ruth had a resolve that Orpah lacked and this is necessary, to truly obtain what God has for you. Ruth stayed with Naomi, took care of Naomi, listened to Naomi and married a rich man named Boaz. Literally, that is what happened. Read Ruth. You can find it here.  It is one of the shorter books in the Bible. You can have the honor of saying that you read an entire book of the Bible. In the book of Ruth, you will find examples of faith, patience, humility and more. But the story of Ruth is also an example of loving kindness. It is the kind of love that breeds a wonderful relationship.

Next: Definition of Love.